Filing an Application

Created on: 
Mar 11 2020

Revised March 10, 2020

Purpose:

This section includes rules and procedures on who can apply for benefits, how to apply for benefits and the minimum amount of information that must be provided to start the application process.

WAC 388-406-0005  Can I apply for cash or Basic Food?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

WAC 388-406-0010  How do I apply for cash assistance or Basic Food benefits?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities

WAC 388-406-0012  What is the date of my application and how does it affect my benefits?

·Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0005

1. Applications by others:

  1. For cash, medical assistance, and Basic Food, third parties (i.e., persons not applying for themselves or their legal dependents) may apply for other persons. To apply on someone's behalf, third parties must:
  2. Be familiar enough with the applicant's circumstances to complete the application accurately; and
  3. Tell us why they are applying on behalf of the applicant to help us identify if the applicant should get Equal Access (EA) services under chapter 388-472 WAC. Examples of when someone might apply for another person include when the applicant is:
    1. Physically or mentally ill or otherwise incapacitated;
    2. A minor child;
    3. Deceased;
    4. Subjected to domestic violence;
    5. For Basic Food, living in a qualified DDD group home or qualified Drug & Alcohol treatment facility; or
  4. For ABD cash and medical programs, temporarily residing outside the state.
    NOTE: While many others can apply for benefits on behalf of clients, HIPAA restrictions prevent us from discussing the applicant’s personal health information with the person making the application unless the representative has power of attorney for the applicant or the applicant has signed a DSHS 14-012(x), Consent form.

2.  Authorized representative:

An authorized representative can be any adult who isn’t a member of the AU and has sufficient knowledge of the applicant's circumstances to act on the their behalf. In general, the applicant chooses who will be their authorized representative. For more information, see Authorized Representative – Food Assistance.

3.  Applications while in a public institution:

   1)  Prior to release from a public institution, residents may apply for public assistance. Expedited eligibility    determinations and timely access to medical assistance is available for applicants with mental disorders before release from confinement. A Medical ID card is sent to the facility so that the client can leave the institution with the ID card in hand. The goal is to provide eligible people with a medical assistance identification card on the date they are released, whenever possible.

2) The department is required to make expedited eligibility determinations and provide timely access to medical assistance for applicants with mental disorders being released from confinement. The goal is to provide eligible people with a medical assistance identification card on the date they are released, whenever possible.

  3) Track Transitional Offender Assistance Program (TOAP) applications in ACES.online. See ACES manual chapter Confinement and Release for detailed instructions.

4.  Program Options for Justice Involved Individuals

1) DOC and county and city jails have a variety of programs that may be used in placing offenders outside public institutions. The  Program Options for Inmates Matrix is intended to clarify how placement in a correctional options program affects a person's eligibility for public assistance benefits. A justice involved individual is eligible to receive Classic Medicaid in a suspended state. On the date of their release from the institution, the recipient will receive full Medicaid coverage. In compliance with SSB 6430 (2017), Medicaid Suspension, the CSO will accept medical applications from justice involved individuals in a correctional setting. These applications should be processed like any other Classic Medicaid application. A medical ID card is sent to the facility so that the applicant can leave the institution with the ID card in hand.

 

Worker Responsibilities -  WAC 388-406-0005

FOR NON-COMPLIANCE SANCTION (NCS) APPLICATIONS:

See  WorkFirst Sanctions-Participation


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0010

The following topics related to the above WAC are discussed below:

Application Forms

  1. Opportunity to apply:
    1. Local offices must make application forms readily available and provide a form to anyone requesting one. Applying for benefits is separate from any other program requirements. We cannot refuse to give an application form to a client because they are not meeting other program requirements or for any other reason.
  2. Application filing:
    1. An applicant can get benefits from the date they request benefits if all other eligibility requirements are met.   We can't require applicants to use a specific form to request benefits. Examples of typical requests for benefits include:
    2. The ACES Request for Benefits (RFB);
    3. ACES 3G Interactive Interview Declaration (IID) with telephonic signatures. Telephonic signatures are captured when an applicant contacts the customer service contact center and requests benefits but has not submitted a paper application. Staff complete an ACES 3G IID while on the phone with the applicant. Two telephonic signatures are needed to complete the application.
      1. The first telephonic signature is captured after interactively screening an application into ACES 3G.
      2. A second telephonic signature is captured after the IID is reviewed and the applicant confirms the information is correct.
      3. Telephonic signatures are captured for incoming calls only.
    4. The name, address, and signature on the DSHS 14-001(X) Application for Benefits form;
    5. The name, address, and signature on the DSHS 14-078(X) Eligibility Review form; or
    6. Part 1 of the online application.
    7. Another form of written request that includes a name, address, and signature.
      EXAMPLE  Bob sends a letter requesting Basic Food benefits and we receive it on October 1st. We send Bob an interview letter and he calls for an interview on October 7th. We pend his Basic Food for a completed IID which he returns on October 15th. Bob meets all eligibility requirements. His Basic Food starts October 1st.
      NOTE  We can't require the use of a specific form to request benefits. But we do require that clients complete an Application for Benefits, Eligibility Review, or IID form to complete their application These forms require physical signatures or telephonic signatures. These forms contain information we must provide to our clients according to federal and state law.

      3) Adding a request for assistance to a pending application or eligibility review for another  program:

  1. Applicant or recipient can add a request for any benefits to a pending application or an unprocessed eligibility review verbally without submitting a new 14-001 or 14-078.
  2. The applicant or recipient may make the request in writing by checking the appropriate boxes on the 14-001 or 14-078 form and, dating and initialing the form.
  3. Use the date the applicant or recipient added the new request as the date of application for the new program. See WAC 388-406-0012.
  4. If the application or eligibility review for the other program has already been processed, the applicant or recipient must submit a new request for benefits.

    EXAMPLE Jenny has a pending application for Basic Food. At her intake interview she requests TANF. Add the TANF application to the Basic Food and note the date of request in the ACES narrative.

    EXAMPLE Sam has a pending application for ABD cash. At his intake interview the worker makes him aware that he may be eligible for Basic Food. He decides to pursue Basic Food. Add the Basic Food application to the ABD cash and note the date of request in the ACES narrative.

    EXAMPLE Maria has a pending application for Basic Food. At her telephone intake interview, the worker makes her aware that she may be eligible for medical benefits. She decides to add a TANF request. If this is an incoming call, the worker can follow telephonic signature rules to process TANF. If not an incoming call, the worker must complete an interactive interview, print the application and mail to Maria for signature.

    4) Handling multiple applications from the same household:

  1. This applies to additional applications received before we determine eligibility on the first application:
    1. Do not deny the additional application(s).
    2. Review the application(s) for impact on eligibility or benefit level and whether the household is applying for any additional programs that were not selected on the first application.
    3. If the household isn’t applying for additional programs, document the case that additional application(s) were received and that the department is still considering eligibility under the original application date.
    4. Treat the application as a new application for the additional programs only and continue to consider any requests for programs which are still pending under the original application date.
    5. Document in ACES and explain any additional information used to determine eligibility and/or benefit level.
    6. Do not extend the Standards of Promptness period for the original application.

       

      NOTE: If the additional application is received before we determine eligibility on the first application but isn’t acted on until after the first application has been denied, follow procedures under (b.) below.

5)  This applied to additional applications received after we determine eligibility on the first application:

  1. If we denied the first application, treat this as an initial application according to WAC 388-406-0010 except, for Basic Food, if we denied the first application due to lack of information, treat this as a reapplication and follow procedures under WAC 388-406-0040 (6)
  2. If we approved the first application, review the additional application(s) to determine if household circumstances have changed. Take appropriate actions on any changes reported.
  3. Deny additional applications for the same program and same persons to avoid duplicate participation.

NOTE: When denying additional applications as described in (c.) above, avoid creating a new AU if an old AU is available.

Name, Address, and Signature Requirements

  1. Name & address:

An application is received without a name or address, make a reasonable effort to contact the applicant. If the applicant is in the office, we ask for an address where they can be contacted.

Applications Marked “Homeless”:

If we receive an application that includes a name and signature, but is marked "homeless" and/or doesn’t indicate a mailing address, it is still considered a valid application and must be screened. Make a reasonable attempt to locate an address or phone number for the applicant. Do this can by searching the electronic case record, case narrative or remarks, online directories, etc. Even if contact information isn’t available, an appointment letter must be sent to the applicant. Address the letter in the applicant's name to General Delivery for the town indicated on the application. If no town is indicated, send the appointment letter to the applicant by General Delivery for the nearest town. The application must be processed in accordance with the Standards of Promptness guidelines in WAC 388-406-0035.

  1. Signatures:
    1. For cash, medical, or Basic Food, a representative may sign an application if the applicant is unable to apply on their own behalf or is unable to sign the application.
      1. For medical assistance, the applicant or representative must sign the application.
      2. For cash programs, a responsible adult AU member must sign the application.  If both parents of the minor children are living in the home with the minor children, both parents must sign unless one is incapacitated and unable to sign the application.
      3. For Basic Food, the signature of one responsible AU member is required.
      4. A minor child may sign the application if there is no adult in the AU.
      5. A mark is an acceptable signature if another person witnesses it.
      6. Online applications for cash, medical, or Basic Food are electronically signed when transmitted. The password used to complete the online application is an electronic signature.
      7. Applications received without a signature must be signed either at the time of the interview or by mail. See matrix below for signature requirements and date of application for various programs.

 

Application Received

Online - for cash or Basic Food

Online - for medical assistance only or long-term care

In-person, mailed, emailed, faxed, dropped off, or scanned

Application Signed?

Yes
Always electronically signed when transmitted. If applying for cash and a 2-parent household with minor children, need additional signature of other parent.

Yes. Always electronically signed when transmitted.

May or may not be signed.  Does notDoesn’t need to be signed in order to be accepted.  If not signed, see “Action to Take.”

Date of Application

Date received or next business day if received after business hours

Date received or next business day if received after business hours

If signed, date received or next business day if received after business hours.

 

If not signed, see "Action to Take".

 

For cash and food assistance, the signature on the front page of the application after the applicant's name counts as a signature for the purpose of establishing a date of application.

 

If two-parent household applying for cash, at least one parent's signature is required to establish the date of application.

Action to Take

Interview if required or desk review.  If applying for cash and a 2-parent household with minor children, get other parent's signature at interview or mail back for signature.

Desk review only. Only applicant needs to sign in 2-parent households.

If not signed, have client sign at interview (if the client is in the office) or mail back for signature.  The date we receive the signature is the date of application for food assistance.  If applying for cash and a 2-parent household, get the other parent's signatures.

NOTE: If we receive an application without a name, address, or a signature to file, we accept the application and take whatever action we can to contact the client to get the information needed to officially file the application. We must take action on all applications, even if there is information missing that is needed to file the application such as a name, address, or a signature.

Informational Handouts and Supplemental Forms:

  1. For all applicants:
  2. For cash or family medical assistance:
  3. Assistance for applicants with children:
    • EPSDT Information Brochure, DSHS 22-019(X);
    • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) pamphlet to applicants who are pregnant, postpartum, or who have children under age five. Pamphlets are available to local WIC offices.
  4. Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs or the Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP:

See EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Additional Requirements for Emergent Needs (AREN)or EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE - Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program - CEAP for forms needed when the applicant applies for benefits from these programs.

Review Alerts/ Ticklers

Check the AU's alerts for possible computer matches made after screening. Compare match information with information provided by the client. Discuss and clarify any discrepancies during the interview.

Interview

See INTERVIEW REQUIREMENTS and Documentation.

Changes Made to Correct an Application

  1. If possible, have the applicant or applicant's representative make the changes by:
    1. Drawing a line through the incorrect entry;
    2. Writing the correct entry; and
    3. Initialing and dating the change on the application.
  2. If the applicant or applicant's representative isn’t available to make the changes, follow the above procedures and document on the ACES remarks screen related to the change being made.

Special Situations

See APPLICATIONS FOR ASSISTANCE – Special Situations for the following situations:

  • Applicant temporarily out of state
  • Medical applications by inmates of city or county jails
  • Trial visit program
  • Persons paroled and released from state correctional institutions
  • Applications for MSP from Social Security Administration Interface (LIS file)

 

Worker Responsibilities

Forms that must be reviewed with the household at the time of interview:

Rights and Responsibilities

Review form DSHS 14-113(X), Client Rights and Responsibilities with the household:

  1. Face to Face Interviews

When conducting a face-to-face interview, explain the rights and responsibilities to the applicant and ask them to sign form DSHS 14-113 to acknowledge that they understand them. Send the document as file only to be scanned into the client’s Electronic Case Record (ECR).

      2.  Phone Interviews:

When conducting phone interviews, explain the rights and responsibilities to the applicant, send them a copy of form DSHS 14-113, and request them to sign and return the document.

       3. Your DSHS Cash or Food Assistance Benefits

For cash or food assistance benefits, review form DSHS 14-520, Your DSHS Cash or Food Assistance Benefits with the household:

       1.  Face to Face Interviews:

When conducting a face-to-face interview, explain the allowable use of benefits to the applicant and ask them to sign DSHS 14-520 to acknowledge that they understand the restrictions and penalties for illegal use. Send the document as file only to be scanned into the client’s Electronic Case Record (ECR).

        2.  Phone Interviews:

  • When conducting phone interviews, explain the allowable use of benefits to the applicant, send them a copy of form DSHS 14-520, and request them to sign and return the document.
  • The applicant is informed of the option to have a telephonic signature collected on the incoming phone call. 
  • Telephonic signatures are not an option on an outgoing call.
  • The first telephonic signature is captured once screening is completed to preserve the date of application.
  • The screening process isn’t complete and not considered an application until the first telephonic signature is captured.
  • The second telephonic signature is captured once the IID is reviewed and the applicant confirms the information is correct.
  • The IID is printed and mailed to the applicant for a physical signature if the call is disconnected prior to capturing the second telephonic signature.

 

 


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-406-0012

Processing Basic Food Applications for Applicants Receiving Benefits from Another State during Month of Application

When applicants apply for Basic Food and they received benefits from another state during the application month, this doesn’t change the date of application:

  • Deny the application for the initial month (and second month if necessary) if they have already received or will receive SNAP benefits from the other state for that month(s).
  • If Basic Food benefits can be approved for the ongoing months and the benefit start date isn’t more than sixty days from the initial application date, a new application isn’t needed..

Worker Responsibilities -  WAC 388-406-0012

  1. Date stamping the application:
    1. Date stamp the application, the same day we get the application, even if the application is sent to the wrong office; or
    2. The next business day if we received the application outside of normal business hours.
NOTE: If you received an application without a signature and the client has now signed the application, do not date stamp the form a second time.
  1. Adding a request for Basic Food to a pending application:

If the applicant has a pending application for one of our programs and requests Basic Food, use the application the applicant provided for the other program. The date the applicant requested food benefits is the date of application for Basic Food.

  1. Do not require the applicant to complete another application. If you need additional information to determine eligibility for Basic Food, request the necessary information;
  2. Document the request for Basic Food and the date the applicant requested the benefits; and
  3. Add a program for Basic Food.
NOTE: If you have already processed the application for the other program(s), the client will need to apply for Basic Food separately. See Clarifying Information #4 under WAC 388-406-0010 for details about handling multiple applications from the same household.

 


ACES Procedures

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